Hospital characteristics have been shown previously to be associated with variations in the probability of death within 30 days of admission. In the current study, the authors extend the examination of the relationship between hospital type to both short-term and long-term adjusted mortality. Observed and predicted 1988 hospital mortality rates were obtained from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). A total of 3,782 acute care hospitals were divided into six mutually exclusive groups on the basis of their status as osteopathic, private for-profit, public teaching, public nonteaching, private teaching, and private nonteaching hospitals. After adjusting for the HCFA predicted mortality, Medicaid admissions, and emergency visits, 30-day and 30-to-180-day patient mortality rates were compared for these hospital types. Separate comparisons also were performed after stratifying hospitals into three groups defined by community size. The risk-adjusted 30-day mortality per 1,000 patients was 91.5, ranging from 85.4 for private teaching hospitals to 95.3 for nonteaching public hospitals, and 97.4 for osteopathic hospitals. The adjusted 30-to-180-day mortality was 84.7, ranging from 82.6 for nonteaching public hospitals to 87.4 and 88.2, respectively for public teaching and osteopathic hospitals. Differences among hospital types were minimal for small communities and increased with community size. In the large communities, the types of hospitals with high 30-day mortality also had higher mortality after 30 days. There was a strong association of hospital type with adjusted 30-day mortality, which should depend on the quality of hospital care, and a much weaker association with post-30-day mortality, which may be more dependent on patient risk. There was no evidence that types of hospitals with low 30-day mortality were postponing rather than preventing mortality.
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